As part of BMW’s strategy to expand its customer base in China (the biggest auto market in the world), it will open more used-car centers in China. Gunther Quest, head of used-car strategy at BMW China Automotive Trading Ltd., said that BMW is thinking about establishing two to four second-hand car trading centers this year in cities like Shanghai and Chengdu.
Right now, BMW has just one of these centers in Shenzhen, China. In a recent interview, Quest said that there’s “big potential.” BMW’s Chinese unit had recently held a road show for second-hand models in Shenzhen. He explained that since this is a “young market,” it has to make customers trust it more.
In China, most second-hand vehicles are sold through dealers that carmakers have not approved of. There are several foreign automakers, such as General Motors Co. and BMW, that have decided to set up their own used-car trading units.
Industry researcher LMC Automotive said that the annual sales of used passenger vehicles in China are expected to increase fourfold from 2011 to around 10 million by 2017. Quest didn’t provide a sales forecast but he claimed that there’s rapid development in BMW's used-car business in China.
He said that the division widens its customer base and helps in building the brand in China. BMW said that last year, its 68 authorized dealers and the Shenzhen center achieved sales of 10,000 used models in China under the BMW Premium Selection program.
BMW doesn’t offer total sales figures of second-hand cars in the country. BMW’s Web site gives more details about global program BMW Premium Selection. Only BMW cars that meet its criteria can qualify. The mileage has to be lower than 120,000 kilometers and its vehicle has to be less than 5 years old.